We had the good fortune of connecting with Silvie Zamora and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Silvie, what inspires you?
I’ve always admired people who work creatively within the parameters and around the obstacles. But the pandemic has really raised this admiration to a full-blown sense of inspired awe. Can’t teach in a classroom? We’ll use Zoom. Can’t have live theatre? We’ll write and adapt stories that can be shot in individual actors’ homes and then stream them. This is being light and adaptive. It’s a zen way to continue on your path. And do some obstacles and rules need to be pulled down? Of course, but the ability to start where you are, then adapt and change in order to keep going is massively inspiring to me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I didn’t set out to do it this way, but all of my work has had something to do with connecting people to each other. I work for Kaiser Permanente as an actor, performing in programs that are geared toward helping clinicians practice their soft skills – communication, empathy, setting healthy boundaries, etc. As a voiceover artist, one of my longstanding gigs is narration for the audio description track for film and TV. My podcast, Life Lab Notes, is short audio fiction (“Field Observations from the Lab of Life in a Storytelling Podcast”) that is funny, thought-provoking, personal. I coach improv in ComedySportz Los Angeles’ High School League. All of these jobs involve a superb combination of artistic and technical skill and deeper truths than you might suspect to find. Only in looking back over the years have I noticed this pattern, and I’m so grateful, because I really thrive in that zone.
The challenges to overcome, for me, are always time and confidence management. Do I have time to sit down and write? The answer is yes, but I might have to move some things out of the way. Do I think I belong in this creative world? Yes, but I need reminding! Sometimes the reminding comes from friends, sometimes it comes from my just doing the thing.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Okay, best friend, you’re going to love this. There are some fantastic vegetarian restaurants in town now, like Souley Vegan. I love the Griffith Observatory, especially if it’s clear out – beautiful views and of course, the beauty of the science. Speaking of beauty and science, we’d definitely see the Challenger. I get choked up every time I walk in there. And the California African American Museum (right next door) is a must-see. And at some point a little getaway to Malibu Creek State Park where they shot outdoor scenes of M*A*S*H.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Sam Christensen. He was the best acting teacher I ever had. I went to Sam Christensen Studios years ago, thinking I would get advice and insight on my image, my brand, so I could effectively market myself as an actor. I got all that, but more importantly, learned to love humanity. That first image design class, and the acting classes I took afterward, highlighted how our individuality is essential, our uniqueness is universal, and art is very, very important. I learned to honor my own essences in all my work, and to honor others’ in theirs. Sam’s influence, support, and wisdom is at the foundation of pretty much everything I do. (We lost him, sadly, but we still have his work. Sam Christensen Studios has been passed on to new stewards and is still in business.)
Other: I was interviewed on the Audio Description Narrators of America’s podcast! https://theadna.libsyn.com/size/5/?search=silvie+zamora